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Formosa Quartet Announces New Violist

Violist Matthew Cohen will join the ensemble, succeeding founding member Cheyen Chen


Ukrainian-American violist Matthew Cohen will join Formosa Quartet members cellist Deborah Pae, and violinists Wayne Lee and Jasmine Lin.

Cohen is a prize winner at the Primrose International Viola Competition, Citta di Cremona International Viola Competition, Vivo International Music Competition, and the Art of Duo International Competition. He also serves as Artistic Director of Opus 71 Concerts, a multidisciplinary concert series near New York’s Lincoln Center.

Since his first performance in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium at the age of 15, he has performed as a  soloist and chamber musician throughout North America and Europe in venues such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, and the Casa della Musica in Cosenza, Italy.

A graduate of the Juilliard School's Master of Music program, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Colburn Conservatory, Cohen served as a member of the chamber music faculty at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Heifetz Institute.

“From the very first time that I played with the Formosa Quartet, I could tell that there was something incredibly special there," Cohen said. "Making music together came so naturally, and there was such a wonderful sense of mutual respect and trust. Wayne, Jasmine and Deborah are all such absolutely amazing musicians and people; it has been so inspiring getting to know them and making music with them.

"While I was new to the group and they'd played together for years, I felt such a sense of openness and willingness to accept me into the group that I felt immediately at home. I couldn't be prouder to be joining the Formosa Quartet and am so excited for our journey together!”


Formed in 2002, when the four Taiwanese-descended founders came together for a concert tour of Taiwan, the Formosa Quartet's name is inspired by the Portuguese meaning of “beautiful.”

Winners of the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, the ensemble has performed at the Library of Congress, the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Wigmore Hall in London, die Glocke Bremen, and the Kammermusiksaal at the Berliner Philharmonie.

They serve as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC) and have enjoyed residencies at Art of Élan, Rice University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego.

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may 2024

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